We want to share how embracing R3 brings reFORMing, reNEWing and reVISIONing to synod office space, staff responsibilities, congregations and conferences. To nurture congregational health while addressing the current realities of mission and ministry, synod staff continues to move forward with an intentional renewal process.

reFORMing Synod Office Footprint
Our physical move to reduce our footprint and increase efficiency is underway and expected to be complete by September 1.  This reconfigured office space with footprint reductions, IT improvements, more-efficient office layouts and shared common areas will save around $25,000 per year.

reNEWing Congregations
Our reNEWing efforts move right into the congregation. Led by the Rev. Sharron R. Blezard, Assistant to the Bishop, our synod staff will serve as a renewal interim team on a half-time basis following the Rev. Elaine Dent’s retirement from St. Paul Lutheran Church, New Cumberland on July 31.  As we continue to address budgetary concerns, providing interim leadership to a congregation in this way will positively impact the 2017 budget.

reNEWing Synod Staff
To maximize effectiveness, our synod staff will be deployed according to their strongest gifts and interests.

  • The Rev. Robert Blezard will assume a stronger role in fostering congregational stewardship.
  • The Rev. Sharron Blezard, in addition to leading the interim team, will continue to coordinate first call theological education, training for leaders and wellness.
  • The Rev. Richard Jorgensen will continue as Director for Evangelical Mission, coordinating evangelical mission and education with an emphasis on renewal of congregations.
  • The Rev. Thomas McKee, in addition to serving as synod secretary, will provide candidacy oversight, and offer synodical administration and synod assembly support.
  • Charlie Roberts’ role expands to the role of Director for Resources and Faith Formation for children, youth, young adults, adults and their families.
  • Deacon Marsha Roscoe will become the synod’s Director for Mission Interpretation, responsible for working with key leadership groups to create a synodical mission development plan. In this new role, she will also serve as the communications director.

reVISIONing Conferences as Mission Areas
To facilitate our R3 emphasis, we are proposing to refocus our 14 conferences into six “Mission Areas” that would be led collectively by the conference deans and secretaries, and the Bishop’s Assistants as follows:

  • Harrisburg and West Shore Conferences; The Rev. Sharron Blezard.
  • Gettysburg and Hanover Conferences; The Rev. Robert Blezard.
  • York, South York and North York Conferences; The Rev. Thomas McKee.
  • Lancaster and North Lancaster Conferences; The Rev. Thomas McKee.
  • Lebanon and Upper Dauphin Conferences; The Rev. Robert Blezard.
  • Perry, West Cumberland and Chambersburg Conferences; The Rev. Robert Blezard.

Synod Assembly may have come and gone, while R3 is just getting started.  These are exciting times to be the church. We look forward to reFORMing + reNEWing + reVISIONing together.

Yours in Christ,
James S. Dunlop, bishop
Lower Susquehanna Synod, ELCA